Kevin Colbert thinks Roethlisberger has a lot left, but “we have to be prepared”

AP

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger won’t play in Friday night’s game against the Giants, leaving rookie Josh Dobbs to get the start in his first game as a professional.

After an offseason that started with Roethlisberger bringing up the prospect of retiring and continued with the quarterback making no commitments beyond playing in 2017, it’s hard not to see Dobbs’ start as a harbinger of what life without Roethlisberger will look like for the Steelers. Whether it is Dobbs or someone else, General Manager Kevin Colbert said “we have to be prepared” for what comes next at quarterback even if he doesn’t see a player who looks ready to hang up the cleats.

“I think there’s a lot of football left,” Colbert said, via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “But Ben has had a great career to this point. If he walked away he’s going to be a Hall of Fame candidate no matter what happens from this point on. But when I watch him, I see a lot of fire. … But in reality he’s 35 years old. Then again you look at the great quarterbacks like Peyton Manning, like Tom Brady. This is really where they cemented their legacy, from 35 to 40ish range, and of course Brady’s still doing it.”

Seeing Roethlisberger in uniform and playing well for five more years would be the Steelers’ first choice for the quarterback position, but getting a glimpse at Dobbs on Friday night and over the rest of the preseason should help as Colbert formulates backup plans.